Time for a change
By STEVE SPINKS
CAMERON CURTIS has achieved a lot during his bowls career.
He's represented Australia, won a Commonwealth Games gold medal and numerous other titles.
However, at the ripe old age of 33, the former Mullumbimby young gun is moving into semi-retirement from the game.
He's not giving up ? far from it. He will continue to play for Sydney club The Hills.
But he's over the travel and the commitment needed to be a competing professional.
"I have a young family," Curtis said.
"I'll never give it away completely because I love the game.
"But I'm looking at other things now."
Other things include a full-time job as a financial planner and moving more into coaching.
Curtis rose to prominence when he was a junior with Ocean Shores and then Mullumbimby.
His mother and sister still live in the district.
When he left school he became a professional and won a gold medal in the pairs at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada, with Rex Johnston.
It was the same year Mullumbimby swimmer Petria Thomas won her first Commonwealth Games gold medal and the town had a tickertape parade for them on their return.
Curtis and Thomas have remained friends since their school days at Mullum High.
That friendship will continue after their sporting careers.
Thomas is the manager of the Australian Junior Commonwealth Games team ? which will compete at Bendigo in December ? while Curtis is the manager of the bowls team.
"All the section managers had a meeting not long ago and I caught up with her," Curtis said.
Curtis got into bowls through his late father, but he also had a sneaking suspicion he wouldn't amount to much as a footballer or a cricketer, especially after an encounter with a promising Lismore junior.
"I played junior interdistrict cricket against Adam Gilchrist," Curtis laughed.
"I remember playing against him one day at Brunswick Heads and he was hitting the ball across the road into the bowling club."
Thinking he was no chance of being as good as Gilchrist, Curtis concentrated on bowls.
Twenty years later, it seems to have been a wise choice.